Shaking Off the Rust

I have the good fortune to be attending the Writer Unboxed On Conference. For those who aren’t familiar with Writer Unboxed, it’s a writing community “dedicated to publishing empowering, positive, and provocative ideas about the craft and business of fiction.”

They have a regular pool of writers, agents, and editors who contribute to the site, and most days a new post is shared on the website and via their email list. Sometimes the posts discuss the business of writing, and other times the posts are focused on craft. Some are just for fun, and others wax philosophical about the writing life.

The WU team has held three in-person “un-conferences,” and I attended the 2019 event in Salem, MA. It was an incredible conference, and I left filled with energy and ideas. Then, all that energy fizzled as a result of Covid and the upheavals it caused.

This year, the conference is being hosted online from September 29th through October 16th. And, even though we’re connecting via our computers or mobile devices, I’m still finding that the WU conference attendees are just as warm, welcoming, and encouraging online as they were when we met in-person in Salem.

It was attending the Unconference in 2019 that helped me realize I needed to celebrate the fact that I have actually published two short stories more than I did.

This group seems to truly celebrate one another’s achievements. They’re encouraging when needed but also willing to discuss the struggles of the writing life honestly.

I find myself feeling energized about writing again. Being around that group is a good reminder that having a writing community can help writers stay the course. And, I also feel like I’ve found a space where I’m not the oddball in the room.

If you’re a writer and having trouble finding a space that feels welcoming, please check out the WU website and see if the posts and comments there might provide some encouragement.

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